This one is for our lackadaisical readers. You know who you are… you’re serial starters. But you have an issue finishing. I know you, because I am you.
Or at least I was.
About a year ago I started realizing I had this fault in my character. I would set a New Year’s resolution and end it mid February. I would search incessantly for habit trackers, meal planning systems, daily planners believing in my mind that if I just found the right one everything would fall into place.
I wish I could tell you exactly what happened to open my eyes. I think it happened right after I completed my first “Bible-in-a-year” reading plan. But all of a sudden I realized that my lack of being able to finish what I started wasn’t because I hadn’t found the right printable. It was me. I was the problem, and that made me want to throw up.
At the same time I knew I could do it. I knew I could be a finisher. I’d just read the entire Bible in a year. I didn’t read every single day. I got behind quite a few times, but then I got caught up. I’d done it. I’d finished.
For those of us that have a tendency to quit, I think we take it on as an identity. Maybe it’s a way of deflecting. “It’s just who I am. I’m not as disciplined as some others. I have other gifts.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that… And to some degree it’s true. Some people do have natural disciplined tendencies. Trent (the husband) is one of those people. But that doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook. We can do better. We can be better.
And as Christians, with the Holy Spirit living inside of us… we truly have no excuse.
Hopefully, that’s motivating. I’m not here to make you feel bad. I really want what’s best for you, and if you’re here because you have the desire to be in God’s word more this year, then you have to be honest about what’s holding you back. It’s time to quit making excuses and just get it done.
If you’re ready for that, then here are some reading plans that either Trent or I have done in the past. They all have their pros and cons. You just need to pick one and run with it. And head to our blog from last week because there are some other tips there that will help you be successful with sticking to the plan.
- You could read the Bible from cover to cover, but here’s something to consider. The Bible isn’t organized in chronological order. Because of that it can get a little confusing when you try to read it straight through.
- I would recommend either snagging this Bible or downloading this reading plan if you want to read things in the order they happened. Plus, if multiple books record the same event the information is stacked together, which is doubly helpful.
- Be aware… this is a huge commitment from day to day. If you aren’t ready for that maybe try this next option.
- BIBLE A LA CARTE
- Instead of following a reading plan, look at the table of contents in your Bible. Pick a book you want to read (and that’s shorter) and read it in your own timing.
- A good idea is to just set a goal to read 10 minutes each day. We all have 10 minutes, right?. If you get into it and end up reading longer, great. If not, just 10 minutes each day for 365 days means you will spend over 60 hours in God’s word. Pretty cool!
- When you finish reading a book, go back to the table of contents and highlight the book title. Then pick another one to read. This is a more loose plan, which is how I started almost 15 years ago.
- If you want to add a little something to this idea you could grab a journal + pen and just write down whatever sticks out to you. You could even write out prayers asking God to help you apply and/or understand what you’ve read.
- NEW TESTAMENT, PSALMS + PROVERBS
- This is a great plan if you’re new to the Bible. The New Testament covers the time period starting with the birth of Jesus, goes through the spread of the church (or his early followers), and finishes off with Revelation (which talks about when Jesus will come back again).
- Psalms and Proverbs are in the Old Testament, or the first section of the Bible, and are really beautiful books to read. Doing this plan in a year (as opposed to reading the entire Bible) will mean less reading each day, and for someone new to the Bible it’s a great place to start!
- YOU VERSION
- I’m a big proponent of reading out of a physical Bible. I think we’re too attached to our devices, so anything we can do away from them is a huge win. Plus, there’s something about holding God’s word in your hands that just hits different.
- With that being said I know a lot of people that really enjoy reading the Bible on their device. If that’s you, or if you don’t have a physical Bible, then the You Version app is pretty great.
- You’ll have an entire library of Bibles available at your fingertips along with just about any Bible reading plan you could imagine. If you want to go this route then definitely check out these Reading Plans by The Bible Project.
There are a gazillion ways to read the Bible. If you get stuck trying to find the perfect one you’ll never start, and if you do and it gets hard you’ll give up… claiming, “I didn’t find the right one.” Here’s the truth. The Holy Spirit’s work is not confined to the right reading plan. He’s perfectly capable of speaking to you during whatever Bible reading plan you’re using, and in every single book of the Bible.
If you came wanting to know how to stick to a reading plan, then definitely check out the blog from last week. But beyond that here’s the deal. If you want to stick with a reading plan, then you just have to stick with it.
It may not be easy, but it’s that simple. And it’s oh so worth it! 🖤
Because there’s a better way,